Our Innovation Analysts recently looked into emerging technologies and up-and-coming startups working on solutions for railroads. As there is a large number of startups working on a wide variety of solutions, we decided to share our insights with you. This time, we are taking a look at 4 promising Drone startups.
Heat Map: 4 Top Drone Startups
For our 4 top picks, we used a data-driven startup scouting approach to identify the most relevant solutions globally. The Global Startup Heat Map below highlights 4 interesting examples out of 15 relevant solutions. Depending on your specific needs, your top picks might look entirely different.
Unmanned Flying Systems – Critical Scenario Operations
Maintenance and repair work for urban and cross-country railway networks are usually done during the night or by closing done sections of the network. Such processes cause delays for passengers and can potentially be harmful to field operators and maintenance workers. Advancements in unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) technologies enable cost-effective and wide-ranging inspection, saving operators the high costs of manual inspections.
Italian scaleup UFLYsys develops a range of railway diagnostic systems using drones. They develop ISIDRONE to easily carry out various types of railway engineering inspections. The drones capture videos and images and send them to the software for analysis. They have been given the authorization to operate in critical scenarios by the Italian aviation authority.
Scanbots – Rail Infrastructure Inspection
Railway tracks meander through all types of terrain in order to connect people and goods in a country. The high cost and effort to lay these connections are offset by the longevity and usefulness of the rail services. However, as infrastructure gets older and people move away from studying railway civil engineering – creating labor shortages for the sector, innovative drone companies are developing comprehensive solutions to address these challenges.
Polish startup Scanbots develops long-range unmanned aerial vehicles to conduct comprehensive inspections for railway infrastructure, besides serving electricity power lines and pipelines as well. They provide end-to-end software solutions for the railway sector – helping clients right from data collection to analytics-based insights, analysis, and solutions.
Unmanned Aerial Technology – Rail Safety Inspection
Railway infrastructure needs to be maintained continuously to ensure the safety of passengers or goods traveling from place to place. Minor glitches and unexpected mechanical failures hamper connectivity and add to the already high costs that are being spent on maintenance efforts. Drones solve the challenges of labor shortages and operating in hazardous, dangerous or inaccessible locations.
British company Unmanned Aerial Technology uses drone technology to conduct a multitude of aerial surveys and inspections of assets for railway infrastructure. Their drones can autonomously conduct topographical and terrestrial surveys, measured condition surveys, and building information modeling (BIM) and produce reports that include the condition of the assets in question.
TerraDrone – Aerial Surveying & Modelling
There are several components to railway networks – the locomotive, the catenaries, the connectors, railway tracks, signals, electricity infrastructure, and some more. Using drones, equipped with advanced technologies, can significantly reduce costs and improve safety for the railway industry. Several manual processes that are prone to manual errors could potentially be automated.
Australian startup TerraDrone offers a wide range of services for industrial sectors, including for railways. Topographic and volumetric surveys, 3D CAD models, 3D mesh models, virtual reality, and at-height inspections are some of the services they provide. They have conducted railway bridge inspections using drones to improve safety in maintaining critical public infrastructure.
What About The Other 11 Drone Startups?
While we believe data is key to creating insights it can be easy to be overwhelmed by it. Our ambition is to create a comprehensive overview and provide actionable innovation intelligence for your Proof of Concept (PoC), partnership, or investment targets. The 4 startups showcased above are promising examples out of 15 we analyzed for this article. To identify the most relevant solutions based on your specific criteria and collaboration strategy, get in touch.